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"Broken Down"

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Raskin evaluates the possibility of peace in the Middle East after recent trip

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). COURTESY PHOTOCongressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). COURTESY PHOTO  More than a year after being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) got his first bit of foreign policy experience after returning from a Congressional trip to the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Raskin, along with 10 other Democratic members of Congress including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), visited Israel, Jordan and Afghanistan, meeting with heads of state in all three countries.

For Raskin, who is midway through his first term in Congress and serves on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, said the trip was particularly eye-opening, especially into the current stalemate on peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the United States’ involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

“As far I can tell, the peace process has broken down completely,” Raskin said of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Protesters confront Sen. Cardin at town hall

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ROCKVILLE – Protesters assembled outside a town hall to voice their opposition to legislation sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin.

"There's a long track record of Cardin, among other people in Congress, of supporting policies that don't recognize the humanity of Palestine," said Benjamin Douglas, 33, who led the protest.

The protest was part of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement which aims to change Israel's West Bank settlement and embargo policies through international pressure. They gathered Thursday at a town hall focused on health care with Sen. Cardin at the Johns Hopkins Rockville campus.

Douglas, who works as a lawyer, said he was there to specifically protest a bill primarily sponsored by Maryland's senior U.S. Senator.

"The specific catalyst is Senator Cardin's role as a primary introducer and primary sponsor of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act which actually seeks to criminalize certain forms of boycott, divest, sanctions movement," Douglas said. "The intent is to intimidate civil society and promote investment even in things the U.S. government considers illegal like settlement in the West Bank," he added.

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Young athlete to compete in Israel

  • Published in Sports

xJJ Eig-113-year-old gymnast J.J. Eig prepares to attend the Maccabi Games in Israel this summer. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

J.J. Eig is a gymnast who is attending the Maccabi Games in Haifa, Israel at the age of 13.

The Maccabi Games feature Jewish teenagers from more than 70 countries who come to compete in many sports.

For J.J., this is special. It will be a chance to make friends and compete on a stage. But, most importantly, it will be a family affair.

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Funds raised to help Israel recover from fires

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New York, NY – As Israel recovers from devastating fires during November which destroyed 10,000 acres of land and forests, the charitable non-profit organization Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA) announced on Dec. 15 that it raised $6 million to help provide the nation new fire trucks and lifesaving equipment, and will work over the next several years to replenish thousands of lost trees through careful reforestation.

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